First published on Transport Safety Blog NZ
This issue has been rolling for several years. Students at Hornby High School, which is located near the corner of State Highway 1 and Waterloo Road, are naturally concerned about high volumes of traffic on these roads, particularly heavy trucks.
Currently an aggravating problem is the close proximity to State Highway 1, which is still routed through residential neighbourhoods such as Hornby, between the airport and Islington. All of the much vaunted motorway development projects from 2009-2017 only succeeded in moving the part of SH1 that went through Belfast out of residential areas. The rest of it between there to the airport was already on Russley Road and the main improvements implemented along that stretch were interchanges replacing intersections, which have improved the safety of traffic flow especially at the notorious roundabout by the airport, which was the city’s most dangerous intersection for some period of years. South of the airport, Russley Road curves to meet up with Masham Road and that’s mostly residential from there until it reaches Main South Road then heads west through Islington and then finally out of the city at Templeton. The airport noise corridor will limit further urban development in the area so in theory it makes sense to bring SH1 further west off the end of Russley Road and go right round Islington and join up at Templeton.
An enquiry is being made with NZTA to see if they have any plans because the routing of SH1 out of these areas would take traffic off these local roads. Waterloo Road does not need to be a heavy traffic bypass if SH1 is taken off the adjacent Masham Road / Carmen Road, assuming Main South Road can handle the traffic volume, although preferably traffic from Christchurch will use the CSM wherever practicable to get onto SH1 west of the city. There is nothing special about Waterloo Road that means it must be designated as a heavy traffic route. The Waterloo Business Park does exist where the freezing works used to be on the outskirts of Islington. This may result in some traffic on Waterloo Road but there is otherwise not a lot of industry in that area where the high school is and really not much justification for trucks, especially with a dangerous road intersection / level crossing combination where Waterloo Road / Parker Street / Gilberthorpes Road meet.
CCC is inviting submissions on proposed improvement to the section of Waterloo Road directly outside the school. This includes two sets of pedestrian islands with speed humps. There are already two signalised pedestrian crossings about 100 metres each side of the school, so it appears that the safety of pedestrians in the area is already reasonably well assured. Without doing more research it is unclear if there is any acknowledgement of traffic volumes on Waterloo Road. OIA requests will be used to get some of this information prior to submitting on the proposal and related issues in the area.